New required test for motorcycle beginner permit renewals

Published: Jun. 5, 2013 at 8:26 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2016 at 8:15 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Motorcyclists in South Carolina must now go an extra step when renewing a motorcycle beginner permit.  The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is now requiring anyone looking to renew a permit to attempt to pass a motorcycle skills test on the road.

In previous years, riders could renew beginner permits without taking a road riding test.  That is until last week, when the DMV announced the new required test that will allow riders to qualify for a motorcycle license if they pass it.

Anyone who does not pass the course will still be allowed to renew their beginner permit, but officials with the DMV said this test should help make roads safer.

Veteran motorcycle rider Raymond Heverling agreed.

"I mean everyone should try the test," Heverling said.  "You have to go prove that you can drive or ride the motorcycle and get your license after that."

Heverling went on to add that the test is a great thing, even if people do not pass it the first time.

"It makes sure they can operate the motorcycle and hold it up as well as giving them the learning experience that they need to - they can come back and pass the test a week or two later," Heverling said.

Michael Elliott passed the course Wednesday and said he thinks riders who have had beginner permits for years should not have a problem passing the test.

"If you've been driving for a couple of years, you're going to know what to do regardless because you've experienced it already, whether the test requires it or not," Elliot said.

The DMV reports that 17 percent of the state's current motorcycle riders have beginner permits and said nearly a third of 112,000 motorcycles on South Carolina roads may be operated by beginner permit riders who do not have motorcycle licenses.